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2nd Annual Eat Mobile – Portland’s Food Cart Festival 

By: Laura Sabo  One of the great many things about living in Portland is being reminded of the phrase “Keep Portland Weird” on a myriad of bumper stickers around town. The 2nd Annual Eat Mobile Food Cart Festival was no exception, although I prefer to use the term eccentric.

After winding around a city block in the historic Kenton District off Interstate during our 40 minute wait to get in, my friend and I wondered if it would be worth it. At the gate they were charging $5.00 but, much to our surprise, we were told that also included as much as you could sample. More lines inside. No problem. Worth the wait.

With more than 170 carts in town, you’d be hard-pressed to enjoy them all. The Eat Mobile Festival is an opportunity to appraise Portland’s food cart scene sampling palatable bites from carts sporting names like Fat Kitty Falafel, Flavour Spot, Lulu’s Confections, Moxie Rx, Todbott’s Triangles and Sip, Soup, Cycle. All proceeds benefitted Mercy Corps Northwest. Read more 


2005 Sawyer Cellars Bradford Meritage - Napa Valley, Ca

This is a rich and elegant Bordeaux-style blend from Rutherford in the Napa Valley. Loads of blackberry and ripe currants. On the palate you find more dark fruit, black cherry, and a touch of pepper infused with a bit of smoke and sweet oak spice. Small grained tannins and a great mouth feel lend to its apeal. Produced from 100% estate grown fruit and aged 24 months in French oak cooperage, it should age gracefully for many years. Release should be in the fall of 2009… the 2004 is still availible.

price $44.00
drink: 2015


2006 Steven Vincent California Crimson Red Blend

When I see a generalized catch-all appellation like “California” I put the bottle down and back away. I was at an event and I had no choice. Luckily it turned out to be a very nice wine with a myriad of complexities. The wine had  fragrant violet and rose petal notes cascading into dense blueberry, and finishing with delicate spice of ground clove and mace. Nice value for the price. - JM for OTV

price: $13.00
drink: now through 2010


Alf of all Trades...

By: Laura Sabo  Drive down SE Belmont Street in the inner southeast section of Portland, and you’re sure to smell the aroma of potage, aka, soup bubbling out of the kitchen of Alf’s Soup Haus. The Belmont District is a combination retail and residential area that urbanized around the first trolley line in East Portland in 1888, with Belmont developing commercial businesses at the trolley stops with housing in between. read more 


Olio e Limone - fine Italian cuisine in Santa Barbara

 The husband-wife team of Alberto and Elaine Morello opened Olio e Limone Ristorante in 1999. Executive Chef Alberto offers classic Italian cooking with a special focus on Sicilian dishes. Elaina runs the front of the house. The wine list is very solid, with several hundred selections. They have been Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winners since 2002. read more


Artisanal Ice Cream from Ici Ice Cream in Berkeley

  This is some of the finest ice cream made on the left coast. I would drive an hour, maybe more, just to go here… it’s that good. Former Chez Panisse pastry chef Mary Canales opened this place in 2006 to share her passion for great ice cream. I will remember the Honey and Candied Fennel Seed and Rose Pistachio ice cream duo in a cup, drizzled with bittersweet hot fudge for a long time to come.
Yum factor: 10+ read more


2006 Andrew Murray Syrah - Watch Hill Vineyard - Santa Barbara County

From the cooler climate area of the Los Alamos Valley comes a wine that rocks. Great fruit with a berry medley of raspberry, cranberry, and a little cherry tossed in for good measure. As it opens up, expect some sweet oak and a dash of black pepper. Great mid-palate with texture. Its clean and focused acidity balances the stealthy fine grained tannins to assure that this wine works well with Steak au Poivre or on its own. Fine effort… three cheers to Mr. Murray!

price: $36.00
drink: 2009 through 2011